The government says it is supporting officials in Leicester in their battle against coronavirus (Covid-19) after a report the city could be subject to Britain’s first local lockdown this week.
The Sunday Times said the government was preparing to impose the lockdown “within days” after a surge in coronavirus cases in the city.
The paper said health secretary Matt Hancock had been examining legal aspects of the shutdown. This was after it was revealed 658 new cases were recorded in the Leicester area in the two weeks leading up to 16 June.
On Sunday 28 June, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) stopped short of saying a local lockdown was likely for Leicester. But it acknowledged the city was an area of concern and urged residents to be vigilant against the virus. A department spokesperson said in a statement:
We are supporting the council and local partners in Leicester to help prevent further transmission of the virus…
We have deployed four mobile testing sites and made thousands of home testing kits available, to ensure anyone in the area who needs a test can get one.
NHS Test and Trace will contact anyone testing positive to help them identify their recent contacts and advise who may have been near to someone with the virus to stay at home to prevent the spread.
We urge the people of Leicester to continue to practice social distancing, wash their hands regularly, get tested immediately if they have symptoms and follow the advice they receive if contacted by NHS Test and Trace. This advice is there to protect communities and save lives.
The Sunday Times said Leicester’s rise in cases follows an outbreak in food production plants in the area and reports of large crowds gathering outside takeaway restaurants.
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